The 'ing' syndrome in India !

Almost all Indians tend to think in their respectives mother-tongue's (sometimes more than one) and translate the same into English. Resulting in….well..let’s put it this way, if Henry Higgins decided to treat every Indian like Eliza Doolittle, he’d be making a lot of money. Most Indians have the unfortunate tendency to make present continuous verb forms out of almost every word that shows an action. It’s not a major issue, but it’s a habit we’ve developed by thinking in our mother tongues and doing a literal translation. All regional dialects in India actually use words to describe an action being in the present continuous verb form. And since this is widely accepted/un-noticed, no one bothers correcting the way they think.

This is a natural tendency for anyone whose mother tongue isn’t English. (will not comment on that dastardly version that the Americans claim to speak)

According to the rules of English, the ‘ing’ forms of words are to be kept to a minimum. You might wonder why all of a sudden I am talking about the ‘ing’ form. Well, small events in the past where I’ve lost my cool and ended up using ‘ing’ words myself made me stand up and take notice of the error of my ways. ( Wren and Martin would be proud of me!) (yeah right….arrogant snob thinks he knows English)

Anyway, I just want to share a few examples.

“I am not understanding!!!”
Translation: I don’t understand the subject matter. They are not talking about not being sympathetic towards fellow humans.

“I am to be tolding you!!!”
Translation: I meant to tell you.

“I am loving it!” (The Mc Donald’s Syndrome)
Translation: I love it. It has nothing to do with ‘third-base’.

(this one's killer...)

Scenario: We were on one bike and this friend was on another bike, and she was talking away without paying much attention to the traffic around her. There was a car that was blowing the horn , so that she knew that traffic was moving. She's oblivious to this and still keeps talking until we point out that she needs to move ahead to which she responds," Oh! I didn't realise he was horning from behind !!!" (Thanks for reminding about that one NN)

There are many instances where we tend to use words in this fashion. It’s no fault of ours. The primary education system in most schools has teachers who themselves don’t know English (as English should be known), and this trickles down generations. A common mistake made by most people is the ‘ing’ form of words related to feeling and emotion when it is not necessary. While the ‘ing’ forms of words are necessary in many cases, they just don’t have the meaning in other places.

For example, most people (not only Indians) say, “I am feeling cold”. While the idea is right, and talks about one's present feeling, as per the rules of English, it’s considered incorrect. The correct expression would be, “I feel cold.” Similarly, I feel happy, I feel hungry (and I do),etc etc.

The best I’ve heard so far was someone taking a word that cannot possibly be used as a verb and then gave it a past tense too. (As though, present continuous wasn’t enough of an abomination). They took the word ‘pride’, made it a verb and gave it a past tense; and I ended up actually reading a new word - ‘Prided’. Obviously, it took me some time to understand the gist of the entire sentence.